It was thrilling to make my first visit to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October. Teaching comitments have previously prevented me from visiting, and since the show no longer visits Birmingham, it has been a few years since I have been able to attend. It didn’t disappoint, the venue is wonderful, Alexandra Palace is situated on top of a large hill in North Londons’ leafy Muswell Green and Wood Green. The view from the terrace across London gives stunning view to the centre of the city and gave my friends Jane, Anjum and I a lovely backdrop to our pitstops and lunch break.
The show brings together fibre artists of all types, demonstrators, guilds, mini workshops, how to talks and suppliers, Habu and Merchant & Mills being my personal favorites! Aside form shopping, it was the Gallery spaces I was most drawn to, here I found the work of Michala Gyetvai. Michala paints and sculpts with threads, stitching and layering her images in a variety of materials employing hand & machine embroidery techniques. In her ‘Enchanted Landscapes’ exhibited here, she uses blankets as the base to draw and paint on with threads, building layers of wool, fine threads of cotton and silk felted together.
I love sculptural forms and there was a great selection on show. Stella Hardings use of measuring tapes and metal basketry is inspirational. Stella combines organic and manufactured materials into complex geometric forms. Her interest in natural mathematics is applied in basket weaving techniques and its application is neatly echoed in her use of measuring tapes as the key materials in these vessels.
It is the sculptural and architectural qualities of Bernie Murphy’s New Beginnings that attracts me to these pieces of wearable art.
I have to include Sophie Digards work here, I love her use and combination of colours and admire her patience and the stamina it must take to create her work. The palette used by Amanda Clayton and Vivien Prideaux’ transparent and stitched surfaces was also a visual delight.
Finally I want to share to the witty work of Kate Jenkins, Kate’s Plaice, The Stitchmongers made its debut at Alexandra Place and had the wow factor of the show for me. Displayed as a traditional fishmongers counter, it was filled with freshly knitted, stitched and sequined anchovies, mussels, scallops, prawns and Atlantic salmon. Visitors to the show could select the fresh product of their choice from the counter and have it mounted and signed as an original art peice. There was also a wall of framed tinned sardines and other fishy delights!
If you have not been to the Knitting & Stitching show before I would highly recommend a visit, the exhibitors are diverse and the standard of work on display is excellent and inspirational. You can find out about the next shows at www.knittingandstitchingshow.com